Study in Orange and White

I am becoming obsessed with Billy Collins, so for the poetry Slam on Monday I decided to find one of his poems to use, just in case. After some time I came across his poem “Study in Orange and White,” and thought it was truly artistic and wanted to make sure it was shown to the class. It is the type of poem that makes people think, almost philosophical, about both the arts and the human connection. Collins also did a few things in this poem that we talked about in class, which is partially why it caught my attention. He mentions a person by name, James Whistler, which as we discussed is abnormal considering the ramifications of telling the audience exactly who is being made fun of in the poem. While the analysis may not be about Whistler, we do know that it is about his mother, which is kind of risky. Another thing Collins does is to deconstruct the names of some paintings in order to poke fun at the artistic world. However, he then continues to deconstruct the world around him and tries to place himself into a painting and into the figurative shoes of a person such as Whistler’s mother. There are other aspects of this poem that are intriguing, but I want to see what everybody else thinks they are.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/29645

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1 Response to Study in Orange and White

  1. Adam Glogovsky says:

    This is a very eloquent poem by Mr. Collins. One can assert relevance to anything that triggers our memory. Memories are usually captured in any piece of artwork so that’s why I believe many people feel philosophical about it. This poem does leap though. He shares this immense daydream with us, but then realizes that it all rests in his head and that he is just sitting in reality eating lunch. The turn was quite obvious to me. What intrigued others?

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